"It reads like a novel": The 9/II Commission Report and the American reading public

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When published in July 2004, the 9/11 Commission Report surprised readers with its accessible prose and narrative power. The report won the respect of the American public as much for its literary qualities as for the findings of the 9/11 commissioners. This article argues that the success of the 9/11 Report depended on its ability to challenge literary classification, and to bring down the walls between personal and national experience. More effectively than any other literary work of its era, the 9/11 Report wed the fortunes of a weakened American government to those of a wounded citizenry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-556
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of American Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2007


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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